How it is doing
Shares have soared recently on the potential for Tiziana’s (LON:TILS) TZLS-501 to be useful for people severely ill with coronavirus-related complications.
TZLS-501 is a class of monoclonal antibody (mAb) called an anti-interleukin-6 receptor, or anti-IL6R for short.
On-the-ground testing in China has revealed anti-IL6R mAbs, currently approved for rheumatoid arthritis, has a role to play in treating patients.
So, the country’s National Health Commission has recommended the use of Roche blockbuster, Actemra, for patients infected with COVID-19 with serious lung damage and elevated IL-6 levels.
In April, Tiziana filed a patent application for the combination of anti-IL-6R with nanoparticle-Actinomycin D (NP-ACT D) in treating severe COVID-19 cases.
Patients with severe symptoms could feel “immediate relief” as the antiviral drug (NP-ACT D) stops the virus from expanding, while the anti-inflammatory agent (anti-IL-6R) suppresses a possible 'cytokine storm'.
A 'cytokine storm' is an uncontrolled immune response resulting in excessive production of substances believed to be associated with severe lung damage, commonly observed in coronavirus patients.
Other drugs in development
TZLS-501 is the current focus though last year Tiziana received top-line data from a phase IIa trial of its liver cancer treatment Milciclib as a monotherapy.
A phase 1 trial of its anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody Foralumab delivered via a nasal spray also finished in January with no safety indications and the autoimmune drug being well-tolerated.
Chairman Gabriele Cerrone has high hopes for its nasal delivery method as all autoimmune drugs currently are administered by injection.
What the boss says: Gabriele Cerrone, chairman
“The drug [TZLS-501] works not by treating the virus but attacking inflammation in the lungs - it is attacking the two proteins causing this inflammation.
As such, the chances that we will work against another future strain are very high.
“The technology, we think, provides immediate relief thanks to the delivery speed”
- Clinical trials get for coronavirus treatments
- Partner liver cancer and autoimmune drugs
- Delivery system proves effective for other treatments, opening up huge markets